Monday, October 31, 2011

Let The Games Begin!

Well, not yet. Not exactly. But they, or rather…it…will in approximately 9 hours.

I’m speaking, of course, about NaNoWriMo, a 30-day writing competition designed to jumpstart your novel and get those juices flowing. With a word count of 50,000 words looming ever closer, the trick is to sit your ass down in front of the computer and bang away; no self-censoring, no editing, no fretting about “getting it right.”

The man who started it, Chris Baty, was making the point -- at least this is what I got out of it -- that too many of us get bogged down in the minutia of a story. For example, what shade of brown someone's hair is rather than letting it just be brown. Or perhaps turning a phrase that rolls off the tongue effortlessly. We can do all those things later, after we've finished the story. If we do it as we go, unless you're a pro and know what you're doing, most of us who are still fairly new to writing and being published, go back the next day to look over what we've written, decide we don’t like this or that, then get caught up in editing instead of moving forward. We wind up losing momentum and, eventually, interest. It's like falling into quick sand.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo about 10 years ago, after picking up a copy of Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” I read the book, found it fascinating, then registered the following year since I’d purchased the book towards the end of November. Unfortunately, after registering, I never did anything beyond that. I blew it off. Looking back, I just don’t think I was ready. I didn’t have the discipline, or a structure that would allow me to get into the mind frame of, “Oh! I have an hour. Let’s fire up this puppy and see what I can spit out.”

With three books under my belt, published by Loose Id, and several others that were self-pubbed, there are still dozens upon dozens -- if not hundreds upon hundreds -- of ideas that continue to roll around inside my brain. And they keep on coming, folks!

Add to this the fact that I’m now 49 and, not to be morbid, time is limited. I want to see if I can figure out a way to write faster before my time comes; whenever that may be.

I don’t know if NaNoWriMo will be for me or not. I have work to do, a partner, pets, friends, sisters and family that call every so often. There are several social obligations thrown into the mix, like birthday celebrations and let's not forget Thanksgiving. Not to mention that it would be nice to take a mental break or I might just have a breakdown. All the same, I’ll let you know in 30 or so days if this was such a good idea.

Meanwhile, I’ve played with Scrivener, a software program that seems versatile and flexible. I think it will come in very handy! I’ve also got my synopsis and some hand-written notes; which really should be entered in Scrivener but I’ll give myself some leeway.

So, off I go. For those who are participating in NaNo, good luck. See you on the other side. For those who aren't, don't be surprised if you don't see a post from me in a while. Except for work, my friends, and my partner, I’m pulling a Timothy Leary. I’m going to turn on, tune in, and drop out until just after November 30.

See you in 30 days!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Taboo Fantasies & Triggers

Disclaimer: This is the first of what I hope will be a small series of posts on controversial sexual fantasies most would consider taboo. Note that the topic discussed is strictly for adults with open minds and might be considered offensive to some. Therefore, if you find such issues to be be a trigger point for you, please leave now and do not read further. It’s a lot like stumbling on a television program you might think has no merit because it shows someone simulating masturbation, orgasm, or because it shows too much ass. Whatever moral struggles you might be battling, it’s usually best to change the channel. The same applies here in this, and any future posts. Right, then. Off we go to talk about…

Twincest

When I was a boy I remember watching something on television with a pair of twins and became obsessed with having an identical twin. Because it was so long ago I really don’t remember if it was "The Parent Trip" with Hayley Mills or "The Patty Duke Show." I can’t imagine it was them because I was into boys and always have been, as far back as I’ve existed and was able to think. Or perhaps it was Patty and Hayley and I simply changed the sex?

Regardless of who it was, my imagination went into overdrive and, yes, even at that age, I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a twin brother. There were dozens of reasons why I wanted one but the biggest reason was so I’d have someone to talk to. Someone with whom I could share my secrets. Someone who would know me so intimately we wouldn’t have to say a word. We’d each know, instantly, what the other was thinking, feeling, and be there to comfort each other.

For a time, instead of an imaginary playmate like most children, I had an imaginary twin brother. I’d stare into the mirror and talk to him, pushing aside all reason and knowledge that I was really only talking to my reflection.

This was around the time that I was discovering I had a penis and that it felt good to touch myself. It wasn’t long before that imaginary twin brother was in bed with me. We would do things to each other that would make adults cringe, had they known what was on my mind.

Eventually, like everyone else, I outgrew the imaginary. I was stuck being just me as I awkwardly stumbled into adolescence and then adulthood.

And yet, at the back of my mind, the fascination with twins persists. Oh, the thought might submerge itself back into my subconscious for a while but it crops up every now and then. Especially when I come across a really hot and handsome man and I wonder if they have a brother. A twin brother. One that's identical to him in every single way. That’s when I go off on tangents and wonder…what do they do together? Have they seen each other naked? Have they played with each other before? Do they still? Do they shower together. Have they lathered the other's back? Have they shampooed each other? Have they swapped boyfriends? Girlfriends? Do they do other things with each other, to each other? Are they into threeways? Would they include me?

Imagine, if you will -- and feel free to take a moment -- a twin Jake Gyllenhaal, George Clooney, Chris Evans, Mario Lopez (from about 13 years ago), Ben Browder (from Farscape) or my personal favorite, the one and only Daddy I would give myself to if I ever needed a Daddy, Daniel Craig. Or, just imagine the hottest man you’ve ever seen, celebrity or non, and double him. Doesn't that drive you insane with unadulterated, wanton lust? The fantasy is pleasurable enough, isn’t it?

Now, show me a real pair of twins and I go into mental paroxysms of near epileptic proportions. Whether they’re celebrities or not, like Chris Evans who has a gay twin brother -- who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a Johnny Storm sandwich? -- and even James and Oliver Phelps, who played Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, have made my mind stray despite the fact that they’re not my type at all. There’s just a certain mystique about twins that fascinates me and I know the same applies to many other people, both straight and gay, as proven by several conversations I’ve had with people in real life, on Facebook -- off Wall -- and the most recent, last night in a group.

The conversation started because of a picture I posted. Identical twins with a third in the middle. They latin men, who I believe are 20 or 21, stood shirtless, looking at the camera. One of them has his arm around the non-twin and a hand flat on his belly in what I thought was a very possessive pose. The twin stood near enough to touch, his crotch against the non-twin's backside.

This isn’t the first time I saw them. There’s a scene with them where they’re by themselves. I don’t know what they do. I can’t seem to bring myself to find out. It’s like I’m afraid of what that might say about me. The pictures seem to imply that it’s mutual, side-by-side masturbation. Reading between the lines of the scene description, on the other hand, tells me a different story.

I’ve only watched the scene where the brothers are with a friend and you have no idea how long I sat there, just staring, drooling. All I could think of was, “Lucky fuckers!”

And I longed to be one of them. To be between them.

I've seen others in the past, as well. Falcon had a scene with twins in the 70s. I don't remember their names but they were in the back of the pick-up truck. I came across pictures of them and was stunned by how beautiful they looked together. It seemed so natural and perfect.

In the privacy of my own home, in the security of my lonely brain, I didn’t feel guilty. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’d like to think that it’s simply me, being a sensual creature, aroused by two sexy young men with hot bodies, coy smiles, and beautiful in their nakedness.

Being aroused by twins, to me, is different than watching say, Aitor Crash going at it by himself, with toys, or even with someone else. It just hits a different part of the brain, some primordial spot we’ve all perhaps locked away and don’t bother to look except for in the darkest moments of our lives or when we’re alone. And even then, we probably slink back out of that place hoping there isn’t anyone near who can read our minds or see our thoughts. If that were the case, I think a good portion of the world’s population just might be locked up.

The conversation we had yesterday on FB made me wonder: what is it about twins that becomes a trigger point and sets some of us off while others go, “Eeeew! That’s disgusting and wrong!” Are they secretly as turned by twins but feeling guilty? Are they being judgmental or are we simply perverted? Is there a need within us, some kind of hunger we’re not aware of, that hasn’t been satisfied? Does the taboo-ness of it make the subject more titillating? Is it some bizarre offshoot of narcicism? Or is it as simple as wanting something we’ve never had and probably never will? It would be entirely too easy to say it’s the last so I’m going to say that’s it’s a multitude of things. More than likely, it’s probably also different for each person though I’d be willing to bet there are similarities in our romanticism and sexualization of twincest.

I find it interesting that so many of us have -- and still continue to do so -- the fantasy of either wishing we had a twin, being in the middle of twins, or watching them together. My fascination was such that I wrote twin characters into my first book, “Casa Rodrigo.” Fernando and Alonso de Rodrigo are there as children but as adults, I only dealt with Alonso; I left Fernando in Spain though I do mention him in a scene where Alonso misses him greatly after finding out about their father’s indiscretions with a family nemesis.

Because of my fascination with twins, and now my discovery that so many others share in the same -- would this be considered a fetish? -- a multitude of things are running around in my head. Among them, is a sequel to “Casa Rodrigo” where I bring in Fernando, though not for sex; at least, not among themselves.

There’s also a different story, one sparked by a conversation I had with two FB friends while I was at GRL in New Orleans. I see the twins and know what they look like clothed and naked. I have the location, the time period and even their names; okay, so it’s just their last name. I just don’t have the conflict yet. The trouble is, what does one do with such a story? Even if I had the conflict and mapped out the entire story, what’s to say it will get ever get published when so many won’t touch what is considered to be taboo?

I don’t know the specifics about the scene I saw yesterday. I only know where it was filmed and I can tell you that it definitely wasn’t here in the States. Our 2257 laws are very strict and I believe twincest, fantasy or not, would be considered illegal if produced here. I don’t know about the distribution.

And yet, within those boundaries, twincest continues to prevail. Whether right or wrong, natural or un, it’s not for me to judge. You see twins together -- alone or with someone else -- and they continue to titillate us in ways that sometimes no one person can do.

I’d like to think that if I actually had a twin there would be nothing more between us other than a very strong bond; very unlike conventional brothers where that bond is either there, or not. But the truth of the matter is that if I did have a twin, knowing me, and if we were identical in every way, well…let’s just say experimenting would have been very interesting indeed!

In conclusion, I ask, what about you? Do you have a twincest fantasy? If it’s a celebrity, whom would you like to be ravaged by? Whom do you want to devour until you’re all absorbed into one another’s spirits? Do porn twins turn you on? If so, who? Why?

But most importantly, if given the opportunity to have sex with real-life twins who got it on because they enjoyed it would you participate?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gay Rom Lit: Final Thoughts

As I start this post, I’m sitting before my computer, coffee in hand. I’m surrounded by ghosts. It’s the memories of New Orleans and Gay Rom Lit that are haunting me, dancing in my mind like the ghosts in The Haunted Mansion, at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

When I first heard about GRL being held in New Orleans, I thought, oh no. Not there. Any where but there. And not because of spirits. Most of you reading might know why; I’ve either told you in person or you read about it in a former post. For those who might not know, I had a very bad experience in New Orleans the first time I went and vowed never to return.

There were other reasons why I was concerned about going; money worries and the belief that I’m still too new a writer being at the top of the list. Yes, I still doubt myself after three books under my belt and will probably always continue to do so, though I’m trying to get past that.

Up until the very last week before leaving for New Orleans, I still wasn’t sure I would go. In fact, when I purchased the plane ticket, I added travel insurance, just in case. I was even counting down the days on the calendar, knowing I could cancel the hotel a few days prior without being charged. I kept telling my partner I wasn’t sure about the trip, that it was a bad time for me. He just patiently continued to put up with me and point out all the reasons why I should go. As did Treva, Michele and a handful of others.

Then the day finally arrived and I found that what I feared most wasn’t that I’d experience a bad time, or fall, or who knows what; it was that I was going alone.

I should have guess it would be a great experience when, at the Atlanta airport, I found my connecting flight to NOLA to be in the same terminal. How many times does that happen, if ever? In fact, even upon my return home, I never left the terminal. My connecting flight to Fort Lauderdale was at the next gate!

Oh, me of little faith who doesn’t dare to hope or dream. And yet, somewhere along the way I must have dared. I must have dreamed. I must have hoped.

The experience at GRL was truly amazing. I met some wonderful people, both writers and readers alike, who were not only warm and welcoming; they were passionate about the genre we were all there to celebrate. Getting to connect the face with the names of people I’ve chatted with on Facebook and Goodreads was great. Getting to know them -- if only for a short while -- was even better.

While chatting with a few of the writers one night, it occurred to me that we, as writers, have a very unique opportunity. We have the opportunity to help change the way people think and feel about m/m relationships. Yes, what we’re doing is telling stories that entertain and allow the reader to escape or resolve their own issues as they see themselves reflected in made-up characters and plots. At the same time, it’s also a form of protest. Even if it is, as Belinda McBride put it -- at least I think it was her -- protest at it’s most subversive.

Looking back, the French Quarter of New Orleans was probably the most perfect place for the first Gay Romance Lit conference. Just like the m/m stories we write, the city is full of mystery, danger, and allure. Just about anything can happen there, some of it frightening. If you don’t believe me, just ask Treva about her experience overlooking Bourbon Street where someone asked if one man was dead while another demanded that he take off his pants.

Or better yet, think back to that moment when you were walking alone. You turned a corner then looked over your shoulder because you thought someone was there. Tell me you didn’t suddenly pick up speed without realizing, just so you could get to the other side of the street.

And weren’t you just the slightest bit aroused when the breeze came in off the river to caress your skin and laugh softly in your ear?

To me, the Quarter is a 98-year-old whore who dares to go out in daylight. She’s dressed in faux diamonds and garish make-up because she doesn’t give a crap what people think. She’s coy, full of charm, sexy, and quite dangerous. She’s a gritty ole gal who sometimes smells bad and thinks she’s still the glittering belle of the ball. But she's also full of passion and high spirits as she shows off the beauty she once possessed, with the hope of unconditional and requited love she still needs. In the end, isn't that what keeps us all going?

Because I had such a great experience and enjoyed the conference so much, the last day was full of bittersweet moments. I shared a few tears with several people, made some wonderful contacts and gained new friends.

Looking back I realize I spent an awful lot of energy focusing on a past, negative experience that I almost didn’t enjoy the present that unfolded before me while I was at GRL. I had been so concerned with the “what ifs” that I almost missed some wonderful memories. Memories of all the people I met. Memories of their warmth, their hugs, their laughter. Memories that will last me a lifetime. And when I stop to think about it, missing all that truly would have been haunting indeed.

See you all again next year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gay Rom Lit: Day 3

After a full day of running around from one event to the other yesterday, today was a bit rough for me. I truly needed this morning’s Beignets & Café au lait, hosted by Treva Harte and sponsored by Loose Id.

I’m not ashamed to say that I felt like I had a hangover. Nope, not because of alcohol; I didn’t have any until tonight. Let’s just say that after the lovely conversation shared on Facebook with Silvia Violet and Beverly Carr, Creole twins kept running around my mind. No plot bunnies yet, just nuances. Don’t know if it will amount to much, but you never know.

The other thing is that in addition to the Beignet Twins, as I’ve taken to calling them, I went to the bathroom yesterday, turned on the light and one of the bulbs in the bathroom started to crackle and sizzle. I called housekeeping and had to wait for them to show up. They never changed the bulb but at this point I’m like, screw it, I check out tomorrow. After that it's their problem, not mine.

The rest of the day was spent doing a bit more running around, meeting a few more people, and listening to a few more author readings. This time with Belinda McBride, Lynne Lorenz, KC Burn and Tara Lain. I won a few more goodies, too!

Strangely, I even managed some down time and did some more editing on a story I wrote earlier this year, “The Rosas of Spanish Harlem.”

As I write this, it’s a little after 10:00 p.m. central. The festivities at GRL 2011 are beginning to wind down and the MLR Press Wine & Cheese Party is coming to and end. In fact, I can still here a handful of people outside talking and laughing.

Here’s William Prater with a tee-shirt that nearly made me pee my pants with laughter.

Here’s Elisa, from Elisa’s Ramblings, a beautiful woman with a terrificly sexy voice who flew here all the way from Italy.

And speaking of traveling, I know several authors from the UK attended, one of them being Clare London. I think someone mentioned we also had a couple of writers from either Australia or New Zealand. I don’t know for sure since I didn’t speak with any of them.

It’s with mixed feelings that I end tonight because I’ve had a lot of fun and met some really fantastic people. Truly, there are way too many to mention. But I’ll say this: it was great to have established authors who paved the way in the m/m genre share their personal writing experiences. It was just as wonderful hearing from some of the readers who’ve read my work.

I will admit that there’s one big drawback to a convention such as this. Well, maybe two. Oh, alright, three things, although I think this one counts as three by itself.

1. I miss our pugs, Trinket, Googie and insane Lola;

2. I miss home and sleeping in my own bed, although this one is EXTREMELY comfortable and they have great pillows; and finally

3. I miss my partner. More than anything, I miss him; my beautiful man who is my rock, my entire reason for living and without whom…well, let’s just say I miss him and leave it at that.

The first Gay Rom Lit will end tomorrow morning, at which time they’ll announce the location of the next event. I plan to do it again and, now that I know what to expect, hope to be a bit more active with either an Author Social an Author Reading or some other thing.

As a final parting shot, here's Damon Suede for those of you who asked to see him in his kilt.

Thanks to the organizers -- J.P. Bowie, Ethan Day, Lynn Lorenz, Carol Lynne, Amanda Young and their helpers -- for coordinating and pulling off this amazing feat. It was well attended, everyone was quite passionate about being here and I think it's going to be even bigger next year.

And thanks to all of you who followed the goings ons from my perspective and took time from your busy lives to comment. As it was with those I met this year, it will be an honor to one day meet you as well.

Who knows? There’s always next year, right?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gay Rom Lit: Day 2

Day Two of GRL kicked off bright and early with a “Dine with an Author Breakfast”…at 7:00…a.m. Because I would've had to wake up at 6:00 to at least be coherent enough to function, yours truly graciously did not attend. I did, however, attend the Beignets & Café au lait hosted by Lynn Lorenz, Belinda McBride, ZA Maxfield, Amanda Young and Rick Reed. It was interesting waking up to everyone’s banter while I drank my coffee, considering I'm the one that you can't talk to unless I've had my first cuppa Joe. Everyone else must've either woken up earlier than I did or I REALLY need more time waking up in the mornings. I’m going to bank heavily on the last.

After the beignet event, which was from Community Coffeehouse -- nice piping hot strong coffee without acidic residue -- I hurried off to the author socials where I met and chatted with Louisa Bacio, LC Chase, and William Neale. The picture above, however, shows Lori Perkins (I think!), Tara Lain and Louisa Bacio. The second shows Treva Harte, LC Chase and Kayla Jameth.

Everyone at the socials were absolutely wonderful and cordial. It was really cool getting to chat with them and getting to know a bit about their experiences in the m/m genre.

In addition to author socials, there were author readings as well as publisher spotlights. The only one I was able to attend was with the ladies from Total E-Bound. Unfortunately, I didn’t get their names but they were really delightful to chat with. Alas, I didn’t win any goodie bags but I had a fun time getting to know William Prater a bit more, a young man who is hoping to one day sit down and write his first novel. I also chatted with a friend of his, whose name escapes me at the moment, but I’m sure William will let me know who he was. What I do know is that I liked his penis, which he wore around his neck. And it squeaked when you squeezed it!

Another person I enjoyed meeting was Sharita Lira, who runs several blogs -- among them http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com -- in addition to being a published author herself.

Lunch was at a spot called “The Old Coffeepot,” a place that Jaimie Samms recommended. Since I didn’t have anything interesting, I didn’t photograph it. I mean, not much you can do with a plain omelet to make it look pretty. My choice, not theirs. I was jonesing eggs big time. The waitress who served us obviously thought it was highly odd that all I wanted was a plain omelette, but then she also said I needed to have some more coffee. I couldn’t agree with her more!

The Old Coffepot is a fun spot with a small courtyard and if you don’t like climbing stairs to get to the restroom, I’d recommend you stay away. But it was fun, full of character and quite colorful.

The Riverboat signing was up next. Naturally, I thought it was the riverboat that left from across the street of Jackson Square. Apparently not. We were going to hoof it but hopped a cab and, after what felt like we were going to be dumped into the water by some Nawleans mobsters, we got to the Creole Queen. It was pretty cool to see everyone in one spot. At one point, though, I did have to pull back and just people watch. Everyone was very excited and energetic. Passion to me speaks louder than anything and if the amount of passion that was in the room is any indication, I believe that GRL can only become bigger, stronger, and…well…even more fun!

I’m very pleased that here, I won a goodie bag from Allison Cassatta, containing a bunch of really neat stuff in. But my absolute favorite out of all of them was the Starbucks gift card. Naturally, I had to drop to my knees and show her just how much I appreciated winning her…ummm…stuff. Hopefully, she'll e-mail me the picture and I can post it to show you just how much I appreciated winning her goodie bag.

Sadly, I didn't get to take any pics of the Riverboat. It was all indoors and there was so much to do, so many people to chat with it escaped my mind until I started writing about it. Then, by the time I did, the tour was over and the Creole Queen was docked again.

As I write this, it’s only 7:45 central. I could easily lay in bed and zonk out. It’s been a long day. But I have one more event to go to and I’ll be damned if I’ll miss it. It’s the Total E-Bound Pretzel Party hosted by Carol Lynn & T.A. Chase.

On a side note, I got to meet the editor for my last book, “Learning To Samba!” It was wonderful getting to meet Corina, who lives here in New Orleans.

And now, I think I’d better go take a quick shower. I don’t think they want anymore stank in the room in addition to the smell of fresh paint and the insane drilling that was supposed to stop half an hour ago! Maybe the ghosts that live here will be as irritated as I am and pull the plugs on the workers.

Perhaps I should light a candle and invoke the spirits.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gay Rom Lit: Day 1

Yesterday afternoon, after checking into the Bourbon Orleans, I meandered off on my own. While going up the stairs to the ballroom, as seen in my previous post, I felt an eerie sensation and got the feeling the place was haunted.

This morning, after volunteering to help blow up balloons with -- please forgive me, I truly suck at names -- Ive (in the gray, pronounced Eve) Jambrea Jo Jones (the tall lady in the back) and Jamie Samms (with the streaks of red in her hair), we were in the actual ballroom itself and I felt the same sensation.

As it turns out, the hotel IS reputed to be haunted. And guess where? If you guessed the ballroom, give yourself a pat on the back since I’m too far away from you to do it myself.

Since I didn’t feel threatened in any way, I continued helping out and had an absolute blast getting to know the ladies; except I really do wish I was better at name retention. My deepest apologies to the two lovely women whose name I can’t remember.

The ballroom, and thus the hotel, is not that old. It was built on the property in 1964. However, before it was a hotel, the site was home to the Orleans Ballroom, the Orleans Theatre and The Sisters of the Holy Family convent.

I was able to go out on the ballroom balcony, which overlooks Orleans Avenue, with William Neale and Carol Lynne; two of the five GRL organizers.

After registration, I met up with Trevah Harte and Belinda McBride. We had lunch at the Royal Deli again. Michele Montgomery, Jeff Arno, and Allison. Kiernan Kelly and her husband Henry (a really cool guy) were there as well.

I had brie and apples and it was absolutely delicious! Served on crunchy french bread, the brie and sliced apples were topped with golden raisins and dabs of spicy mustard. Think of it as bruschetta but with a really huge twist.

And then the fun began. Registration.

We got our badges, along with our tickets for events such as the Vampire Ghost Walking Tour, Riverboat Book Signing Social, etc., along with a goodie full of some sweet items from writers who were attending (including yours truly) and had a chance to schmooze at the Opening Gala.

The interesting thing, at least for me, was actually pulling back and watching everyone. Sometimes I can be gregarious and a bit loud but it depends on the environment. Other times I have to be in the mood. Today, because this was something new, I opted to pull back and mostly watch. That didn’t keep me from socializing, however. I met John, a reviewer, and writers Kayla Jameth, Ellis Carrington and Piper Vaughan. I also got another opportunity to chat with Belinda McBride, Z.A. Maxfield, and Lynne Lorenz.

I met a few other writers but, unfortunately, by this point I was on sensory overload and can’t recall their names. Hopefully they'll understand.

After retiring to my room for a bit of writing and editing, I joined up with the Vampire Ghost Walking Tour, sponsored by Kiernan Kelly, Lydia Nix and VJ Summers. For anyone coming to this city, as with Key West, a ghost tour is HIGHLY recommended. If your tour guide is good, as ours was -- though I did wonder if what he was truly drinking from his bottle was water -- they not only invoke a certain ambiance, but tell you about the rich history of the city. It's also a pretty cool way to get the lay of the town.

As a quick side note, our tour guide mentioned a representative of the Spanish crown, an Irish mercenary by the name of O’Riley. Apparently this general, or whatever he was, assassinated 5 rebels who didn’t like that he was here. Those 5 bodies were laid out in front of the very same church where I fell 14 years ago. I just about shit a brick on the spot.

And now I’m back at the hotel, in my room and winding down. I'm jonesing something sweet big time but I think I'll try and curb that sweet tooth. After all, tomorrow is another day, and it begins with Beignets & Café au lait!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cafe Au Lait

So my first foray out into the Big Easy has, so far, been wonderful. The weather is balmy, with no humidity. In fact, the weather was perfect as I stepped out of the hotel and onto the street to venture out to Cafe du Monde.

I had my cafe au lait (sorry, can't remember where the accents go) and plate of beignets. And can I just say? They were DEE-licious. See for yourself. I do believe I might have to pay a few more visits before returning home.

There are certainly a lot of run-down looking people here but it seems to fit the city. It is old. As is, I think, the hotel. It just has a haunted vibe to it. Like someone's watching. From the outside, it really doesn't look like much.

The inside, however, is very pretty.

After walking around a few blocks and just soaking up the atmosphere, I stopped off at a small and funky sit-down deli. I think it was called the Royal Deli. I had a turkey sandwich with goat cheese spread and something I've never had, or heard of, before: sweet potato salad. It was really good! The waitress reminded me a lot of Zooey Deschanel but much taller. Same voice, too!

And now I'm back at the hotel. I hope to start some editing and then, in about an hour, head to the room where the GLR coordinators are stuffing goodie bags.

I've Arrived

I always wish people safe journey when they travel because these days, well, you just don't know. I guess all that karma's come back because both flights were relatively incident-free!

Now I'm checked into the Bourbon Orleans which, incidentally, is right in back of the damn church where I fell 14 years ago! The BO (sounds awful, doesn't it?) is a very nice hotel. I'm on the first floor and it looks like there's construction going on all around. In fact, I can hear the rattling of a drill somewhere near.

The bathroom alone is worth staying here! It's absolutely huge and you can fit several people in sleeping bags; assuming you had to.

I haven't gone out to investigate yet but I'm thinking I might bite back my fear and at least roam the lobby and check out it's amenities. If I'm feeling adventurous, I might even head down to Cafe du Monde. I'm dying for a good cup of coffee and some beignets.

You know? I think this is going to be a pretty cool trip! Now I just have to get used to being Johnny Miles for the next 4.5 days.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Unpacking Butterflies & Setting Them Free

Fourteen years ago, I took a trip to New Orleans with my sister. We were both very excited about going to The Big Easy because of it’s history, the mystique around it, and because of the movie “Interview With A Vampire.” It had come out a couple of years prior and had such an eerie feeling about it I was entranced and very much looking forward to it. In fact, we wanted to go for Halloween but flights were either unavailable or too expensive, as were the hotels.

So we pushed it back and went the week after.

Mind you, this was a trip we’d planned close to a year before. It seemed so far away and I put it out of my mind. And the day finally came to leave. Not only did I feel weird about going, I felt awkward too because if I remember correctly, at the time, my partner and I had only been living together close to 6 months; if that.

My sister flew from New York, while I flew up from Florida, and we met in Atlanta. The closer we got to New Orleans, the more excited she got. I just pretended to be. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I started getting weird vibes. It was like butterflies in my stomach only not in an exciting way. I kept telling myself it was just flying jitters and nerves about going someplace new, compounded by the fact that my partner couldn’t come.

The moment the plane landed, the strangest thing came over me. It was like everything in my body was screaming, “Go away! NOW! Just get back on the first flight back home.”

But I couldn’t do that. Not to my sister. She was totally beautiful in her black, goth dress that looked like something Morticia Addams might have worn, long raven hair and a choker that was almost identical to the one Lily Munster used to wear. I do remember asking her if she felt something weird and she calmly said no.

At the hotel, on Canal and (I think) Rampart, we checked in and were told under no uncertain terms that we shouldn’t leave money or valuables laying around the room. They urged us to use the safe and suggested that if we were going out later that night, we should stick to well-lit streets. They even went as far as suggesting boundaries within which we should stay.

Having already felt ill-at-ease since landing, all this information did not fill me with good will.

Then we headed to our room, where we discovered that there was one King-sized bed, not two doubles like we had originally asked for. My sister and I looked at each other and I said, “Honey, I love you but we’re just not THAT southern.” No offense to those of you who might be southern but I was pissed by that point.

After an annoying conversation with the woman behind the desk that only put me even further at edge, the fiasco was resolved.

Shortly after settling in, my sister and I decided that the night was young. We were in New Orleans, and we were going to walk around. Now, remember that we’re from New York City. There’s very little that frightens us and we know what to do when we feel threatened.

The night was a bit humid but breezy and not too warm. We went down to the main drag that runs along the river; I can’t remember the name but I know it was where Cafe du Monde is. We’d heard about their chickory coffee and beignets so, naturally, it was the first place we hit. Along the way however, people kept asking us the time. Of course we knew what time it was but our response was always the same: Sorry, we don’t have a watch. It’s what you say in New York because sometimes the person asking is working with someone else and is trying to distract you.

On the way to Cafe du Monde, we felt as if we were being followed. Even my sister, who is far less afraid of things than I am, was a bit worried.

We got to Cafe du Monde, put the experience behind us, and were grateful nothing happened.

The following day, we must have explored just about every block! We were mesmerized by the architecture and the “feel” that it was such a haunted place. The weather was beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions. We bought tickets to a local production of “Dracula” for the following evening and were thrilled to have purchased tickets to a walking “Interview With The Vampire” tour.

That night, we did one of the ghost tours, which I highly recommend. We met across from Jackson Square and the group was led by a man with a top hat, a cape and a cane. He was totally decked out and my sister and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Things were definitely improving, despite the fact that earlier in the day, there were certain blocks where we’d turn and I felt as if someone were watching us. Yet when I turned to look over my shoulder, there was no one there.

And then, just when I thought things were looking up, the following morning came.

We were in front of the church and we’d just had breakfast at, I think it was called Madelaine’s. We were set to go on the vampire walking tour and we were quite excited about it! So there we are, standing in front of the church trying to figure out which way we needed to go to meet up with the group. My sister thought we should go one way and I thought we should go another. Except that when I turned, I feel. I was no where near the curb. I did NOT have anything to drink. And I didn’t even feel like I was falling. All of a sudden it was just like, oh, that’s weird. That tree’s upside down.

Not even the cop, who was just coming out of a bakery with -- and this is the truth, I swear -- his coffee and donut, stopped to help.

Fast forward back to the hotel where I spent the day in bed with my leg propped up while my poor sister walked Canal Street (or is it Avenue?) looking for a drugstore to purchase an ace bandage, aspirin, and a few other things for me. Somehow, she was able to get our money back from the walking tour but Dracula wasn’t buying back their tickets. So off we went, with me hobbling along.

The performance turned out to be really awful but what was worse was that my ankle was by now the size of a large grapefruit. I was in excruciating pain and, though I hated to admit it, suggested to my sister that she stay at the hotel and I would cab it over to the nearest hospital, which I think was Tulane.

And do you know what they had the nerve to ask me at the hospital once my sister (who insisted on coming with me) and I arrived and I was with doctor alone? They wanted to know if I’d been drinking when I fell. I hadn’t touched a drop, though I don't think they believed me. And then the had the audacity to ask me if my girlfriend had pushed me. I was like, Whaaaaaat? What kind of a place IS this?

Turns out I tore ligaments in my left foot (I’d already torn ligaments in my right foot five years before that) and was put in a cast, given crutches, and my sister and I called our trip short. Luckily, we’d gotten travel insurance and got some of our money back but the damage was done.

Needless to say I had a bad experience with New Orleans and vowed never to return. Ever.

And yet, here I am, two weeks shy of a full fourteen years later. It’s the night before I head back to New Orleans, this time for the Gay Lit Retreat. For those who don’t know, the GLR is the first of it’s kind, designed specifically as a forum where fans of the m/m genre can meet their favorite writers and…well, mingle and schmooze!

I must confess I’m a bit more than leery; not about the mingling and schmoozing. I think I’ve got that down. I think it’s because of the memories that kept flooding back and I kept repressing. Oh, and coincidentally, my partner wasn’t able to take time off to come with me this time, either. I guess New Orleans isn’t in his future; at least not now.

The other reason why I’m leery is because I don’t know what to expect at GLR. I keep second guessing myself: Should I have gotten swag? Should I have signed up for a reading? Should I have volunteered to sponsor a breakfast, a lunch, or a dinner? And then, of course, there’s the little kid inside tugging at my shirt and looking up at me.

Will they like me?

Ahhh, ain’t fear a bitch?

Frankly, bad memories and experiences aside, deep down I’m very excited. I’ll be seeing Treva again and I’ll be meeting, for the first time, readers and fellow writers with whom I’ve already shared so many things on Facebook.

I hope to see you there. If you see me first, come on over and say hello. I promise I won’t bite or push, but I just might creep into your head!

Safe travels, everyone.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Missing In Action

A week ago this past Friday, I wrote on Facebook that I would be scarce for the weekend to work on a story. I had an idea for a submission call that finally began to gel, only it might have be too late. I can’t say anything about the piece because I’m not done with it yet. Frankly, I’m not even sure if I’ll make the submission deadline but at this point I almost have to keep working on it. It’s not even a long story; the maximum word count is 5,000. I’ve done half that in one day. Hell, when I'm truly inspired, I can do that in one sitting! But that’s a rarity.

The problem with the way the short was working itself out in my head was that I wasn’t sure about the details. I didn’t think the scenario was plausible in reality though in my mind I could see it perfectly. Still, something wasn’t jiving. So, since I’m the type of person that must have some accurate details before I could suspend reality and bend it to suit my needs, I went off in search of…whatever I thought I needed. And can I just say? Research is a bitch when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Especially when it’s a period piece.

Still, I was determined.

Armed with the Ken Burns boxed DVD set that I borrowed from a friend, I sat down to start watching “The War.” Two discs and many hours later I was a sopping mess from the atrocities, the injustices, the prejudice. I felt, and this is no joke, like Lilu Dallas at the end of “The Fifth Element” -- overwhelmed, discouraged, and hopeless. The things we humans do to one another is nothing short of revolting and makes me wonder how we ever managed to crawl out of our infancy from caveman days.

I didn’t find what I was looking for in the documentary. Based on the details and the events that unfolded, as they were described, my hunch turned out to be correct. I couldn’t establish the scenario for my story because there was no physical way for it to occur at that time. But I’m holding on to the premise and changing a few things for when I do sit down to work on it.

I started writing a slightly different story than I had originally intended. Whether I finish it or not, will be a different story. I have one week left in which to do it. It’s a tall order. I guess we’ll see.

As the week progressed, I couldn’t stop thinking about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and American reactions. It wasn’t that much different from when the Towers were struck. The names and places have been changed in order to protect the not-so-innocent but, even in the aftermath of both events, I’m appalled by the similarities and the events happening within our own country now.

On top of what I was mentally processing, we started learning a bit more detail about a friend of ours in the UK who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I’m not even sure if I spelled it right but, from what we’ve read, it’s a horrifying thing no matter how you spell it. My thoughts are with him and his partner.

While my mind was occupied with these things, as well as catching up on a backlog of freelance work, we started babysitting for an apricot pug and her newborn pups; seven tiny bundles of wiggles and squeals. One of them passed away, before we ever get to see him. Unfortunately, two remained that neither the owner, nor my partner, were sure would make it. I was determined that they would.

I held each of them in the palm of my hand and whispered encouraging words to them. I told them it was a beautiful world out there, though I didn’t believe, and that they’d find wonderful homes with lots of room for them to run around.

I fed them from a tiny bottle when they couldn’t nurse from their mom and told them they were going to grow up just as big and strong as their four brothers and sisters, already far larger, with features coming in.

On Tuesday, both little ones seemed to have stabilized. By Wednesday, however, only one of the two seemed to have heard anything I said. The other still didn’t quite grasp the concept of latching on to mom’s teat and suckling for sustenance. By Thursday, he no longer seemed interested in anything but sleeping.

It was truly heart breaking to watch his little body trampled on by the others as they crawled their way to mom. He looked like a wounded baby bird and I wanted him so badly to pull through. I held him for close to an hour that day, whispering things, holding him to my forehead, my heart. I wanted to transfer some of my energy to him. I even asked the Universe to shave enough time from my own life in order to give it to him so he could pull through.

Then, on Friday, no longer opening his mouth for even the bottle, his tiny body cold in my hands, the owner, my partner, and I all knew for sure he had to be put down.

Now I know what some of you might say; he was a dog, not a human. It’s nature's way. Only the strong survive. I heard all that and then some. It got to the point where all I heard was the voices of the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons. The only things that entered was the fact that this little tiny creature passed before my very eyes and there was nothing I could do to help him.

I felt small and insignificant. I was angry. I was sad. I was frustrated and hurt. Which in turn made me realize that was exactly how I felt when watching “The War” and how I felt when reading what our friend has been writing concerning his partner and what they’re going through.

I broke down Friday night, after the work was done, and cried. I cried for the tiny little pup pug who never got to open his eyes, walk or crawl, let alone have his first taste of bacon. I cried for Bryan and his partner because I can’t help them with what they’re going through. But mostly I cried for all the people in the world that have endured lifetimes of prejudice and injustice and for all the people yet to come that would still experience bigotry and hate.

Even as I write this, I must confess that I’m disgusted by this weakness, this ability to empathize with other individuals or groups of people. I saw myself, at the time, as Bella -- a character I dislike because all she ever did was cry, and the reason why I won’t watch any more of those melodramatic and sexless movies.

The other image that came to mind was that of Counselor Troi, on Star Trek: Next Generation. I used to think she was pathetic in her woebegone looks and the semi sci-fi gothesque appearance. But at least she was pretty with her curly hair and tight jumpsuit.

Looking back, as I conclude this post, it feels like so much more time has elapsed than just one week. I feel like I've been "Missing In Action" for much longer. I think it’s because when things like this happen, when my mind and heart go down the path of introspection, I retreat from friends, acquaintances, and the rest of the world. It’s the only way for me to process the events and emotions and absorb them into my psyche.

But I’ll tell you this. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take a moment and stop what we’re doing. Listen to the heart. Take the people we love by the hand and tell them how much they mean to us, how much we love them. It’s okay if some of them think we’re strange. They will anyway, so, what the fuck? We might as well express ourselves. Life, after all, is extremely precious.

And all we have is now.


P.S. The other doubtful one pulled through just fine. She's terrifically tiny but feisty, wiggly and demanding. And today, they're one week old!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Thoughts On Walt Disney World and A World of Peace

It’s the day after our vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando. As glad as I am we came home early -- we shaved a day from our hotel bill and we’re back with our pets -- I can’t help feeling a bit…well…blah. Then again, it’s always difficult coming back from a good, fun vacation and settling back into reality. I find it’s even doubly so when we get back from Disney. You see, there’s always a part of me that never wants to leave. The worst, for me, is leaving the countries at Epcot, or The Magic Kingdom; especially at night, after the huge fireworks.

If only I could live on Main Street or one of the countries! But that wouldn't be real life, would it?

The first time I went to Disney was February of 1996. I was 33 and slipped into a childhood I never really had. I didn’t know what to do with the overwhelming emotions except to tear up with joy. I’d never felt such raw bliss.

I was also conflicted between the wonderful escapism offered at Disney and the knowledge that in a few days I’d have to return to my daily grind. Those feelings have not changed. If anything, they’ve become more powerful as I’ve grown older. Given the growing political and religious climates in our country, the feelings have become sharper still.

During that first visit to WDW, I found myself wondering why we all couldn’t just live in a world where everyone smiled and left everyone else alone? I kept looking at the happy faces, listening to the music as we walked along, and the child inside me kept screaming, “This is how it should be! Why can't it be this all the time?

And then there was that voice. You know the one. The “Parent” voice. The one that says, “Because,” without ever backing the one-word claim or offering proof of why living such a fantasy life wouldn’t work.

We’ve visited Disney so many times I can see the chinks in the facade if I stare long enough. Yes, I know people who’ve worked there that report it’s not all smiles and sunshine behind the scenes. Yes, these people have called Disney all sorts of things, none of which come close to what Disney calls itself: The Happiest Place on Earth. And, yes, it’s a money pit; a place where people go and lose their souls to the devil, having to work double shifts just to pay for the plastic junk their children don’t really need.

However, removing all that from the equation, it’s still a place that I find to be magical. Only at Disney have I felt that just about anything I can dream is actually possible. Let me give you an example.

Several years ago, when we went up for my partner’s birthday, I snuck into the Muppet shop at Hollywood Studios to purchase a Kermit figure my partner really wanted. The purchase took a little longer than expected, what with the undecided just milling about but I texted my partner, pretending to be ill in the bathroom, as I completed my purchase then made arrangements to have Kermit delivered at a specific place and time.

The man I worked with moved heaven and earth. In fact, I’m still not sure of what he did or how he pulled it off. All I know is that the following night, while having dinner at The California Grill at the top of The Contemporary, Kermit the Frog, playing his banjo, was delivered to our table, as requested. It was flawless. We weren’t even staying at that hotel!

And no, it didn’t cost extra to have it delivered. What it took was a handful of people that were either curious enough to see it through or willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions to make someone happy.

Fast forward to this past week.

My partner and I were riding the Kali Rapids at The Animal Kingdom. For those who don’t know what it is, The Kali Rapids is like a giant inner tube that seats 12 and bobs up and down on the water, with a very high chance of getting you sopping wet.

There were eight of us that day: my partner and I, a Brazilian couple, their two sons, and another couple we think were father and son. Perfect strangers, having a fun time laughing and teasing each other over the anticipation of getting wet. Then, when we all got drenched, it was glorious as we all laughed and shrieked, enjoying ourselves as children, despite cultural differences and grown-up demeanor. There was no hatred, no judgment, no categorizing or shoving one another into a box. It was clear by everyone’s reaction that the only thing on our minds was the experience.

It made me wonder. If eight perfect strangers could co-exist peacefully and share a “magical moment,” what other wonders could we share? How much further could we carry on with that feeling of living in the now? From there, my mind leapt to another thought, one that might be far-fetched but perhaps not as crazy as it sounds.

Is it possible that, perhaps, we can create a fun and peaceful environment, thus changing what we perceive as “the real world” even if it is only one moment at a time?

I realize I’m probably looking at the world through rose-colored lenses and that offering up a ride at Disney as an example of peace is perhaps a slight oversimplification of human nature. Still…if the thought is there, if it came to me, might it not be possible to carry out? I mean, if we’re willing to adapt to a peaceful unity and co-existence in the most fantastical of all places, why not in the real world?

I don’t expect to change the world or make anyone see things the way I do. But if each of us stopped for five minutes and made a conscious effort to live a moment with no judgments or preconceived notions of others; if we imagined positivity for a friend, a family member, a neighbor; if we put aside our political and religious beliefs and stood as one, what might we be able to achieve?

Alas, I’m about as close to a satisfying answer as I am to a prize of ten million tax-free dollars. However, if any of you have thoughts on the topic -- whether it be on ways to start implementing peace or a way to get to that ten million -- please feel free to share. I’m open.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'd Like To Say…


that I'm being productive today but that would be a lie. The most I've done so far, other than wake up and get out of bed that is, is to scratch my balls, yawn, stretch and make coffee. I did play with the dogs for a bit and now I'm sitting at my desk, jonesing more caffeine with the girls snoring contentedly by my feet. I truly don't think it gets any better than this. The simple things.

Except for this, my new cover. I am sooooooooo friggin' stoked!


Learning To Samba will be available as of tomorrow, Tuesday, August 16, 2011, through Loose Id. I hope you enjoy the story and look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Learning To Samba

Last night I received a cover proof for my third book, “Learning To Samba,” and nearly burst into tears. I don’t know if it was because I was tired from the many hours I’ve put in this week, the lack of chocolate, or that the artist captured the many nuances of the story. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful to her (I think it was Anne Cain) and Loose Id.

Unfortunately, I can’t show you the cover just yet -- it hasn’t been finalized --but I can tell you that it proves the old saying true, that a picture’s worth a thousand words.

Interestingly enough, it was yet another picture that inspired me to write “Learning To Samba,” a picture posted on the Facebook group, Inspired Writing, by fellow author Kayla Jameth.

If memory serves, I was in the middle of edits for “Lauderdale Hearts” before submitting it for approval, in addition to another major freelance crunch when I first saw the picture. I didn’t have time to respond to the image. And yet, I couldn’t get the visual out of my head. It lingered on my mind like a refrain from a song and touched me for some reason I didn’t understand. It spoke to me of love, loss, and deep emotion.

I asked myself if it was the shadows? The look on the model’s face? The sensuality of it all? The picture pulled at my heart and I found myself unable to focus until I wrote down what I felt; which was the point of the exercise.

Without judging myself, without self-censoring, and without fear of repercussion, here’s what I wrote:

He was a foreign exchange student living with my tenants. I knew I shouldn't have crossed that line but Raoul was so fresh, so young, so willing. I could breath again when I looked into his eyes and all the pain of losing my lover nearly ten years ago seemed to release itself from my veins. I didn't want to at first but when Raoul smiled at me and moved his hand away from the only thing remaining to be exposed, I could almost hear my partner's voice in my head, his love in my swelling heart as he whispered, "Go for it! It's time to be happy again. I'll see you on the other side." And as I gasped at the sight of the lovely, naked young man standing in shadows before me I caved. I let him kiss me. His tongue sought mine and his hands seared my flesh where he touched me and gradually possessed my soul one layer at a time.

The seed was planted by Kayla but with those written words, that seed germinated. It was then watered and nurtured by several: Treva Harte, Michele Montgomery, Serena Yates, Kayla Jameth and Kenya Ferreira; to name a few.

Compared to “Lauderdale Hearts,” which took something like 3 or 4 months to write, “Learning To Samba” took a very long time and almost never saw the light of day.

At the time, there were things on my mind already weighing me down. It was a tough period with mental challenges and personal issues I’d been ignoring haunting me at every turn. Like many, rather than confronting the issues, I repressed them.

I sank my teeth into the story to avoid the emotional crap but didn’t count on having to immerse myself into the main character’s position; a man who’d lost his partner of many years and now found himself alone at an age where, in the gay community, you might as well be dead.

It was a demon I had to face, a fear I needed to look at. I can’t tell you how depressed I got, wondering what it was like to lose your life partner, contacting family, friends, neighbors. The thought of going through all his stuff was daunting but at the heart of it all was the knowledge that if I ever survived my partner rather than the other way around, I don’t know how I’d move on; if ever.

On top of everything else the story dragged me into a depth I hadn’t known before, despite the fact that I knew I was only doing what an actor does; tapping internal forces and emotions, whether real or imagined.

Slowly, I pulled out. The story moved on. The character met a hot Brazilian medical student living at his sister’s house and, along with him, I found myself falling in love with the 25-year-old. The further away I got from dwelling on the past and negative emotions, the better I felt.

It’s hard for me to say that the book is only about “X” because it’s layered and textured with my own struggles. I wrote about what I knew: fear, worry, and my love of New York. As for the sex, I’ll leave you to wonder what’s real and imagined. However, I’ll say this: once upon a time, in a magical land called Florida, a 20-something-year-old from New York met a man from the land of Mouse, who pressed buttons he didn’t know existed. The result was eye-opening and gave him said 20-something-year-old a new appreciation for fetish; at least…enough to dabble. Or dribble. Or drool. Or…whatever.

“Learning To Samba” will be released on Tuesday, August 16. It will be available through Loose Id at the following link: http://www.loose-id.com/Learning-to-Samba.aspx

Meanwhile, since I cannot yet show you the cover, here’s the picture that started it all. Thanks, Kayla.



Sunday, July 31, 2011

Collared

With the release of this story, I begin my countdown for the release of my third e-book, "Learning To Samba," which comes out 8/16. I hope you enjoy reading the story.

*****

My hands trembled as I fumbled the car key. When I finally managed to slip the car key into the lock I opened the door, careful not to make any noise, then slipped behind the wheel of the rental.

I don’t know what I was scared of. I was an adult. Finally legal to drink. It’s not like I was going out to murder anyone. And yet, I glanced about the dimly lit parking lot as if I were afraid I’d get caught slinking around. It was as if I were broadcasting to the world where I was, where I was going, and what I was hoping to do.

It was Independence Day weekend, 1984. I’d taken a few days off to vacation in Fort Lauderdale. The Marlin Beach Hotel -- once a happening, straight bar/restaurant featured in “Where The Boys Are” -- was falling into disrepair from it’s 50s heyday; but it had a certain edgy appeal.

The seediness was titillating and I walked around with a partial hard-on from the moment I checked in two nights ago. It was as if I could sense all the sex that had ever been had there, like I was being haunted by the Ghost of Lust Past.

Despite the holiday weekend, there weren’t many guests. Of the men that were there, none appealed to me. Winter, I’d been told, was the time to come down. That’s when they were stuffed to the limit with naked men from all walks of life, cavorting in the sun and swimming in the pool, which could be observed from the Jules Verne room.

After wandering the deserted corridors of the infamous hotel, cruising Birch Street into the wee hours of morning, and observing the men that disappeared behind bushes on the beach, I was more than ready to get laid.

But I didn’t want regular sex.

I wanted something different. Something dark and sinister. I yearned for someone to grab hold of me and possess me with his desire. I longed to be taken, by force if necessary, and used until he, whomever he was, was sated.

Apparently, there was only one place for that.

Which is why I sat in the rental, dressed in my tightest pair of acid-washed jeans and black tank-top. I was showered, cleaned out, and shaking internally at what I might find. But I swallowed back my fear, rolled down the window, and cranked up the engine.

“Good luck!” A voice called out, startling me out of my focused determination. I jumped and looked up to see the clerk behind the desk smiling at me. I watched him stride up to his car, parked beside mine, secretly hoping he wouldn’t ask to join me. When hunting for cock it was usually best to do it alone.

I smiled, feeling embarrassed, and nodded awkwardly. A short while ago I'd asked him where a guy might find something a bit less…mainstream.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” The man grinned as I slowly pulled out and waved goodbye.

I turned left onto Atlantic Boulevard, known by the locals as A1A, and drove north towards Sunrise Boulevard. From there, it was several miles to NE 3rd, then a quick right.

The bar was on a poorly lit street, in a particularly rough neighborhood. As I climbed out of the car, I wondered why it was that most gay bars I’d ever been to were in shitty areas. I pressed down on the lock, slammed the door shut and pocketed the key. Then I walked to the front entrance of the leather bar and stopped short.

“Scared, boy?” A deep, gravelly voice boomed in the night. I turned my head and drank in the sight of a huge, intimidating mountain of a black man as my eyes adjusted to the blue and black light.

I cleared my throat, noticing the way the bouncer sat on the bar stool, head cocked, scrutinizing me curiously. He wore a leather vest, a cap raked so low I couldn’t see his eyes, and a leather band around his left bicep. His arms were huge and his hands more like paws. Something impossibly long and unbelievably thick snaked down the inside of his left thigh.

Yes, I was afraid but I couldn’t let him know that.

“No!” I replied, my voice higher than I would have liked. To my own ears it sounded like a pitiful squeak.

The man laughed in a deep bass that rumbled in my chest.

“Don’t lie to me son. I can smell it on you.”

“Sh– should I be? Scared?”

The bouncer stood with a low grumble and leaned forward. I took a step back. But he only grabbed the handle and pulled the door open for me. The dull thump of dance music became a roar.

“Get your ass inside, son. This neighborhood isn’t safe for pretty white boys like you.”

I had to brush up against him in order to step inside and wondered if he’d positioned himself that way on purpose. But the moment I walked in and the door shut ominously behind me, the thought popped out of my head. I suddenly understood how Dorothy might have felt when she first stepped out of her freshly transported house. This was Oz, or at least a version of it, and there was no turning back.

I stood in the narrow vestibule, my senses assaulted by the loud music, the smell of stale cigarette smoke mixed with sweat. But it was so much more than that.

I sniffed at the air.

The place reeked so heavily of sex you could practically taste it. There was also an energy, thick with expectation, that permeated the air as surely as the scent of leather made my nostrils flare.

This was where I belonged, what I had been looking for. My pulse quickened and my cock twitched with arousal as I slowly moved forward.

The bar was to my right, just beyond the floor-to-ceiling beaded curtain. To my left was a leather shop. I decided to traipse through, like foreplay, and look at the contraptions and paraphernalia; some of which I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what they could be used for.

There were dildos, whips and paddles. Long, clear tubes of all sizes for your nipples, your cock. Tit clamps, cuffs and row upon row of tiny brown bottles. There were books, magazines and video tapes, racks of leather shorts, vests, caps. Cock rings, ball stretchers and several sizes of butt plugs.

There was a pounding in my head as I lost myself in the dark, seedy world of kink and fetish. Someone grabbed my ass and I spun around to see who’d groped me but there was no one there ready to stake his claim.

I crossed the hallway and stepped into the bar. It was even darker here than it was outside. I stood, in what I hoped was my best New York City stone-face, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Then, with hands in my pockets, I weaved through the crowd.

To my right was a throng of men surrounding the bar while to my left, another group watched two burly, hairy-chested men circling the pool table. I could see the glint of metal and knew quarters from the next challenger were already lined up.

I pressed on, pushing past a small group of men playing at the pig trough while others watched. The atmosphere in the room crackled with perverse anticipation.

I continued moving.

Out on the patio there was a small bar to my right and a built-in, one-person cage to my left. A crowd of beefy men stood in front of the bars. I struggled to get past them and saw one of them throw his head back and howl into the night while holding on to either side of the makeshift cell. I didn’t need to see what was happening to know he’d just come. Another man quickly took his place as the man who’d been drained emerged from the throng, working his cock back into his jeans and pulling up his zipper.

As I stood and observed the scene around me I realized that, aside from the leather, kink, and heavy sexual tension, it wasn’t much different from the other bars I’d been to. The men still talked, laughed, and flirted.

I began to relax, gradually becoming aware that no one would pounce on me unless I wanted them to.

I moved once again, heading to the door on the opposite side of the small bar. A small hallway led to private toilets the size of closets and just beyond, the space opened back into the main bar.

I sidled up to the counter and ordered a beer.

To my right, two men talked casually over the loud music while another was on his knees servicing them both. A handful of voyeurs stood around them like a protective barrier.

Above the bar, a smooth-skinned body builder lay in a sling suspended from the ceiling. He’d been blindfolded, wrists and ankles cuffed to the hanging chains. His massive legs were spread wide and, every so often, the bartenders would take turns working a large dildo in and out of the bodybuilders ass while patrons egged them on.

On a large bulky television, two bound hunks tag-teamed and wrestled a third down onto a mat. I watched as the two muscle gods tied-up the other with his own singlet then stripped and had their way with him using their fingers, their cocks, and toys that seemed to appear out of nowhere.

I was on sensory overload. As wild and crazy as New York could be, nothing like this ever happened in the clubs anymore. The viral spread of AIDS had seen to that, claiming practically an entire generation of gay men.

I was conflicted by the decimation I’d seen back home, and the carefree lust that surrounded me. What had been a sexually charged atmosphere, upon my arrival, now filled me with dread. I briefly wondered if I’d done the right thing by coming here.

How could I ever expect to meet anyone in a place this?

Then I saw him, across the bar, in the crowd of people. He stared at me intently while sucking down his beer. The rest of the world had fallen away as I forgot where I was. The only thing that existed was him, a dull thumping in my body that registered as music, and me.

I was transfixed as the big beefy man approached. He was totally cut and ripped, his dark eyes focused. Clad in leather pants and a harness, he wore a cod piece that set my imagination to wander and a metal band around his left bicep. A tribal tattoo went all the way around his right.

He looked into my eyes as he reached for something at his side and the next thing I knew I had a collar around my neck. I was so stunned I couldn’t speak. He gave me one of those smiles, the kind that said he knew exactly who I was, what I wanted and how I was going to get it.

“Let’s fuck!” His lips moved but there was no sound. At least, none that I heard.

And then I was in his arms. He held me in place with one hand at the back of my neck while pulling my hips towards his with the other hand. He held me tight and his amazingly wicked tongue penetrated my mouth, devouring me. I didn’t know his name but I’d never felt so aroused and so dirty all at the same time.

In that moment, I knew I’d be with him the rest of my life.

*****

Learning To Samba will be available from Loose Id as of 8/16/2011. Collared has also appeared on my Author Page on Goodreads.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Random Shoes


As many of you may know, I’m a huge Torchwood fan. Not sure if that makes me a Torchie or a Torchwoodie. Personally, I’d like to opt for the Woodie, please. At any point, when it was announced that Torchwood would move to America I thought there was no way possible that it would work here. Not only that but, given our country’s prudery, I knew they would emasculate the man I wish I could be; Captain Jack Harkness. But to my surprise, cable television picked it up, Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner moved along with it and they’ve kept the remaining two original Torchwood staff true to their characters. So kudos to Starz, Russell and Julie as well as the amazing cast of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Mind you, I still prefer them in Cardiff -- they had a more awesome grit to them there -- but I like this one just fine. Besides, a dose of Captain Jack is better than a shot of testosterone any day.

To prepare for Torchwood: Miracle Day, my partner and I decided to watch the original Torchwood: Season One, which aired on BBC. Though we were hoping to finish all of them before the new season started, it just became impossible. Life, as always, gets in the way. We did finally finished watching it, for the third time, and as much as I enjoyed the entire show, there are several episodes that stand out for me. My favorites are listed as follows.

Episode 1: Everything Changes. This is of course, the most important episode because this is where Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and I both developed a crush on Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman.

Episode 6: Countrycide. This was gripping and butt-clenching suspense at it’s finest because it was real. No monsters, no aliens. Just real life. Sick, sick, sick.

Episode 9: Random Shoes. This episode, following a perfectly ordinary individual, is actually center around a character who’s not a part of Torchwood but desperately wants to be. Compelling and moving, this episode has made me cry each and every time I see it because it makes the simplest of things in life beautiful and reminds us that while we’re here, we need to stop and have a banana milk shake.

Episode 12: Captain Jack Harkness. In this episode, we learn a bit more about the illustrious Torchwood leader. We also follow him, and Toshiko, as they get sucked back in time to Cardiff in 1941. With all these characters trapped in a nostalgic era, one of the most romantic same-sex kisses ever. Leave it to the Brits to not be scared of showing a little male/male love!

•••••

In continuing with the theme of “random shoes” today was a major step for me because I finished writing my totally smutty story, “The Rosas of Spanish Harlem.” Why might this be such a coup you might ask? Well, that would be because since March, all I’ve written of substance, were blog posts. It seemed as if after completing, then submitting, “Learning To Samba” to Loose Id for consideration, something happened. I spiraled and for the months that followed, try as I may, everything I started just fizzled out and lost my interest.

Looking back, I think that after an emotional piece of work, as writers, we owe it to ourselves to write something light and fluffy or smutty. Something where we don’t invest so much of ourselves that snapping out of it, once the project is complete, becomes almost impossible.

Strangely enough, despite the fact that “The Rosas of Spanish Harlem” was intended to be a fluff/smut piece, one of the characters decided to turn it into something else. The other characters were cool with what was going down -- a lot of sucking and fucking -- but an 18 y.o. twink, a high school grad, decided he was going to let me know that he was a femboy and likes to dress up in girls lingerie and put on makeup. All of this happened despite the fact that I wrote out very explicit character bios and a chapter-by-chapter outline. I still got to the end, mind you, even if it was slightly different than originally envisioned. Not to mention that the car I originally put them into, was different by the time they arrived.

For now, I’m putting the story aside and see if I can’t do the same with another story. I feel compelled to begin another one quickly. Meanwhile, whether or not “TROSH” is a romance or not, I’ve no clue. My first reaction, and instinct, is to say no. It is, however, a very smutty romp of a love story between what we think makes a man, and a not-so-pretty Puerto Rican with a penchant for cross-dressing boys.

So, as you can see, this post was all about Random Shoes. Now, go out there, take life by the balls and swallow it whole because it’s all over far too quickly.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Causes Your Depression?

I’ve fought depression off and on for a couple of years now. Despite the fact that when I look back on my life and realize there were moments when I was attracted to all things dark and sad, it seems as if some moments were more intense than others. I haven’t been able to pinpoint them but I’m not sure that I want to. I mean, why look that far back -- especially since I can’t remember -- when I can look at what’s caused me to surf the butthole of depression in the recent past?

So that’s one of the things I’m doing in therapy and I continue to journal and blog about them. Some I’ll talk about freely. Some are just way too personal and those stay with me. That’s how this blog was born, actually. Obviously, though, that’s not the only thing it’s for; why focus on the dark when you don’t want to or linger in depression when you don’t have to. It’s like an alcoholic going to A.A. meetings and drooling over another person’s experience and reliving that horror over and over again. Too many people use meetings as a cloak, or crutch. I don’t want to do that here. I just want to share so others know they are not alone in what they feel. And, regardless of whether or not those feelings are skewed, they are REAL.

Besides, I gotta pimp myself out somewhere and I don't think street corners are safe.

Since starting this suggested task of blogging and journaling on my experiences with depression, I’ve become aware there is really no one thing that sets me off. It can be anything from the state of the world, health insurance woes, lack of money (it seems the harder I work, the less money I manage to hold on to; and I don’t even spend it!) over-eating, which leads to being overweight, which diminishes the libido, and so on and so forth. The list is rather long and would make James Joyce's run-on sentence look like a cakewalk.

One very strong item that pushes me over is anger. I have, or so it seems, a lot of suppressed anger. The funny thing is that when I was 19 and took my required “Intro to Psych” in college, the professor said the belief among the psychological community was that depression was anger turned inwards. I laughed, naturally. I thought, how was that possible? But several decades later, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps he didn’t have a point.

But there seems to be more and here’s where I’m now very fascinated with the subject. You see, since starting this blog journey, I’ve begun to notice very similar traits in other people; people I’ve never met; people I’ve only known through Facebook. These people are all creative. They’re writers and actors, living the grind and trying to make ends meet as they balance two separate worlds; one in which we must be practical and do what needs to be done in order to survive -- even if we don’t want to do it -- and doing that which we love most. Expressing ourselves.

And this made me wonder. Is depression a multitude of things? Years of incidents keeping us from doing what we love that only end in mounds of frustration? Years of anger, at not being able to tell someone to shut the fuck up or fuck off? Is it money worries and the fear that we’ll never be able to fully do what we love because we have to work? Perhaps we are with people who don’t support us or feel they don’t really care about what we do? Perhaps we lack that one person that REALLY listens when we need it most, even if there is nothing they can do about whatever we’re experiencing?

Is it part of the creative process? Are we being impatient with ourselves, our work? Is it the long moments of stillness in between projects, between successes, where nothing happens and we feel like we’re spinning our wheels? Perhaps it’s a really bad review or the fact that someone rates us a 1 or 2 out of 5 without bothering to explain why?

Are we unhappy with our lives, our partners, our children, our friends, ourselves?

I could probably go on but I won’t. Why go someplace when you don’t need to? Especially because sinking into depression, as I mentioned to a FB pal -- a fellow writer -- feels like you have Dementors hovering nearby. They’re not sucking out your soul but their mere presence diminishes us nonetheless. And dagnabit, wouldn’t you know it? That’s usually when our magic wands are in the shop and no amount of mind tricks can produce the Patronus necessary to get rid of them.

So, for those of us who suffer from the big D -- as opposed to wanting a big D of a different nature -- let’s see if we can’t take a look at recent events surrounding that first slip. Personally, I want to pinpoint what it is that sets me off because, frankly? I want to stab that bastard in the eye, kick it in the balls and tell it to get the fuck out of my head. There is just NO room in there; it’s already taken up by cobwebs, stray odd thoughts and very strange plots. Besides, I’ve got too many things to do, stories to write and things to enjoy before my time comes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And The Award Goes To…

No, I haven't won any awards. At least, none that I'm aware of. I just wanted to get your attention and point out something I've always found curious. Actors and their acceptance speeches.

When I was younger, I used to wonder why actors would go up on stage and thank five million people at the Oscar’s, Emmy’s or Tony’s. Okay, so maybe five million is a slight exaggeration, but not by much. And, frankly, I’m not sure if the awards mentioned should have apostrophes or not. In a way, that’s what this post is about. Wait. You’ll see. Meanwhile, back to the actor’s and their awards.

Having known a few local actors, having volunteered for backstage work at a community theatre, and having become friends with members of The Dramatist’s Guild, I’ve grown to realize that no one body of work is possible without help and collaboration. Every person the actor meets, whether that person knows it or not, can help change the actor’s life and performance. They can even contribute to the actor’s success.

Hell, for that matter, much of life is like that, if not everything. But for this post I want to stick primarily with the writing process.

You see, as many of you know, writing isn’t just about sitting alone in a room, although it certainly feels like it for a great part of the time. There's a lot of inner turmoil over the choices we make for a character and the path we've chosen for them. The process can become all-consuming and I'm not even taking into consideration the work we do to pay the bills or the emotional problems involving a family member, a friend, even ourselves.

Like with actors, we face an incredible amount of external influence that affects us and the outcome of our work; whether negative or positive. From the person behind the counter who serves us our coffee and buttered bagel then let’s us sit there for hours on end while we write; to the idiot who flips us the finger as they cut us off on the road; to our friends, family, and anyone else who has uttered a kind word of encouragement.

While working on proof edits for “Learning To Samba” this morning, it struck me that just like with actors, there's a whole slew of people working behind the scenes to help make a writer become successful. So, without further ado, here's to a few necessary unsung heroes I’d like to thank at Loose Id.

First, to the Judith’s, the Jules’, and the Corina’s of the world who, after recommending my stories for publication, give their focus and attention to the words I put down on that proverbial sheet of paper.

Here’s to the line editors -- their names escape me at the moment -- who went through each and every single line of content. I’d go insane if I had your job!

Thanks, too, goes to those who proofed the manuscripts even after the editor and I did our best to polish it up further and get clean as a whistle. Thanks for catching what we missed, for pointing out flaws in continuity and suggestions to tighten the stories for better strength and readability.

Thanks to the M.T.'s who formatted the manuscripts and make the stories available for your e-reader, the Allie's who, amongst other things, write press releases, fix our blurbs and make sure the piece is marketable.

And let me not forget Loose Id, who thought enough of their editors to back them in their suggestion to publish me, as well as finance, who makes sure I get my royalty checks!

Mostly, I want to thank the readers. You see, I write to find out what happens next, because I must find out what happens if, but I also write to entertain. Hopefully I've done that. Besides, without the reader, my babies -- that mutual collaboration -- would simply be ignored, never picked up, and never told they are loved.

I'm grateful to you all. Grateful, flattered, and humbled.

How about you? Is there someone in your writing career you'd like to thank? You don't even need to be a writer. You might simply have to rely on someone to help you through the next stage of whatever you're working on or following through. Drop them a line. Say thank you. I've a feeling you'll make their day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Smutty Excerpt From "The Rosas of Spanish Harlem"

The beach was practically empty when I climbed the steps up to the boardwalk from the street side of Brighton Beach. In the distance, to my right, Coney Island beckoned but I preferred the quieter end of things.

It was early morning, Thursday, July 7, 1977. Even the shop owners hadn’t opened up yet. I suppose I could have walked under the boardwalk but I usually left that as a treat for the end of the day, after spending hours baking in the sun’s rays. It was always much cooler walking beneath the elevated walkway. In a way, it was mysterious, foreboding and exciting all at the same time, what with all the people walking overhead, knocking sand on top of you, and the litter strewn about which frequently included used, cum-filled condoms.

Sometimes, if I was lucky, a guy would stand still long enough for me to look up the inside of his shorts. If I was really lucky, he’d have no underwear on. Not that they were aware, mind you. It was just one of those happy accidents where you happened to be at the right place, at the right time. In fact, if any of them knew about the pervy boy ogling their stuff they’d probably chase after me and beat me to a pulp. Brooklyn men weren’t exactly known for being gay-friendly; at least, not in public.

Despite the dangers, the thought of feasting my young horny eyes on a big pair of balls and a thick, meaty cock made me feel even hornier than I already was. Still, I pushed the thoughts away to take in the last few moments of silence.

Even the seagulls seemed hesitant to screech and squawk.

The only other people around were the city workers and the dirty old men -- most of them Eastern European immigrants -- who sat on the benches all day, facing the ocean to ogle whatever it was that caught their fancy. Binoculars were usually strapped around their necks.

I crossed the boardwalk to the beach side and made my way down the stairs and onto the sand, gripping the metal railing as I went. To my right were public restrooms. A big, beefy black janitor whistled, glancing from side to side as he unlocked the men’s room then disappeared inside with a metal bucket on wheels and a large mop with a dirty head.

As I trudged along the beach, sand between the bottom of my my feet and the flip-flops I wore, I enjoyed the sea breeze on my skin. Between that and the salty air, I relaxed enough to let the fight I’d had with my mom, earlier that morning, slowly seep away.

A part of me felt bad, but every summer it was the same. She expected me to get dressed and go with her to the factory where she worked. She’d say it would be good for me, that it would teach me discipline and fill me with pride at earning my own money.

I thought it was a load of bull. It would just turn me into yet one more drone shuffling off to do something he didn’t like and, eventually, give up on any dreams I might have had.

This particular morning she’d been more insistent than usual. She wanted to introduce me to the new foreman. She had the feeling he and I would get along famously. She’d gone on, adding that she was sure he’d want to give me a job; one that would allow me to earn enough to help around the house -- even if it was just a little, as my sister did -- and still save for my first year of college in the fall.

It’s not that I didn’t want to help. It’s not that I wasn’t grateful. I know how hard mom worked. I’d see it on her face when she came home late at night only to have a quick, small dinner, then go to bed and wake up to do it all over again the next day.

My sister had been working summers for nearly six years now, in between Spring and Fall semesters. She was saving up to get her own apartment and, I have to admit, it would have been nice to have money of my own rather than depend on mom but, to me, summer was a time to go off and explore. It was a time for adventure.

This particular summer, especially, meant more than any other. It was going to be special, perhaps even magical. Though nothing had happened in the two weeks since I’d been out of school, that hardly mattered. I still had two long months ahead of me and they beckoned with promise. I knew deep in my heart I needed to remain open to any opportunity.

Plus it was the last summer where I could still consider myself to be a kid instead of a teenager who’d just turned the wonderfully legal age of 18.

This would be the summer I’d stop being a boy and become a man. I’d lose my virginity, suck my first cock, and get fucked. Maybe I’d even get to fuck!

But that wasn’t where my fantasies led me.

In my wildest fantasies I always saw myself as being taken. Used. At times, even abused and sometimes taking on more than one cock. I wanted, no…yearned…to be mounted, penetrated and deeply fucked by a huge cock, feeling pubic hair against my smooth ass. I wanted to feel my jaw stretched to capacity as I looked up into the eyes of the man who would claim me as his boy; my daddy, my lover, my owner. I wanted to be possessed, body, mind and soul.

Not that my deepest desire mattered. I was too scared to find a man. Even if I managed to find the courage to go looking for one, I wouldn’t even know where to look. Not to mention that I was fairly sure no one would find me attractive.

I was too short for one thing; 5 feet, even. My hair was thick, blond and hung just below my shoulders. Mom always said it made me look like a girl. She was always after me to get it cut, which was the biggest reason why I went out of my way to leave it alone and let it fly loose.

The fact that I was slim and smooth didn’t help. Nor did my pixie-like face and puffy red lips. I wasn’t muscular like other boys my age and I’d always been the last one to be picked at any school sport. I might as well have been a flat-chested, teenage girl since the only thing that made me male, by definition, was a dick. And even that wasn’t very big. I was only about four and a half inches long. I liked to think that the doctor botched up my circumcision and stolen several inches from me.

Strangely enough, as a little boy, my sister -- who was three years older -- would dress me up in her clothes and put makeup on my face. She’d hand me a mirror and I’d just stare at my reflection, mesmerized by the pretty girl looking out at me. Then we’d have imaginary tea parties and talk about our dad who ran off and disappeared when I was barely a year old.

In a way, it was almost as if my sister saw something in me that I didn’t. Something I was afraid of -- or perhaps too young -- to see for myself or acknowledge. I only knew that I liked boys and wanted one desperately.

The rest, I tried my best to hide. Bad enough I wanted to be with another male.

Overhead, a rogue seagull screeched for food and hovered, daring to break the silence. It pulled me out of my reverie and, with a sigh, I buried all thoughts of men, sex, and my so far short past.

I settled on a spot and shrugged the oversized canvas bag from my shoulder. Pulling out an old, cum-stained sheet from my twin bed, I shook it out. It fluttered in the breeze, flapping before finally falling to the sand, where I anchored it with a flip flop at either corner, by my feet. Then I placed the bag at the top corner, to my right, and pulled out the thermos filled with grape soda. I propped it in the other corner, burying it a little in the sand.

Satisfied, I pulled out my towel and made a pillow out of it as the surf began to churn a bit more urgently. Pulling off my blood-red tank top, I then undid the top button of my cut-off jean shorts and let them fall to my ankles.

I imagined one or two of the old geezers on the boardwalk, sitting on their bench, binoculars glued to their eyes and trained on my slim, lithe body as they licked their sandpapery, wrinkled lips.

Eat your hearts out, I thought and bent over dramatically to step out of my shorts. Then I stood still a moment, hands on hips, wearing a white bathing suit that covered slightly less than a briefs and showed practically everything; especially when wet.

With a nasty, playful glee at whom -- if anyone -- was watching me, I plopped down on the sheet and proceeded to apply baby oil on every inch of exposed flesh. Then I leaned on one elbow and, after fiddling with my transistor radio -- using only my fingertips to avoid getting too much oil on the dials -- I found the AM music station I liked, laid down and closed my eyes with great satisfaction.

I was soon asleep under the hot, prickly sun.

***

Voices carried on the wind. A woman giggling. Soft whispers. A man’s laughing. Something about them made me stir. I could tell they were young but still a little older than me.

“No, papi. Stop it. I already told you. Not here.”

“Aw, c’mon, baby. Who’s gonna see?” The man was cajoling, somewhat syrupy. He definitely wanted something.

Roll your bod! Roll your bod! This from the radio, which was fading. The 9-volt battery was probably dying.

I came awake and slowly rolled over, realizing I’d probably been asleep longer than I should have been. Tomorrow I’d have a real nice sunburn.

I looked up slowly, discretely. A young Puerto Rican couple lay on a blanket directly before me, just mere feet away.

The woman was a typical latina; big boobs, wide hips, a sensual mouth. She looked to be in her early twenties. Her black wavy hair kept getting blown in her face. She’d reach for it and pull it from her mouth.

The man was about 24 and his skin was the color of caramel. His body was lean, toned, and perfectly smooth. His hair was black, and he wore it tight to his scalp. I got the impression he was quite a charmer. Otherwise how else could he get away with calling her babe or mami?

There was something about the wind that, although I could tell they were doing their best to keep their voices low, the whispers carried towards me.

I propped my chin on folded arms and closed my eyes to slits so it would appear as if I were still sleeping. It helped that my hair was loose and wind-tossed, covering half my face.

The young man’s fingers tugged at the side of the tiny, triangular patch of cloth covering his girlfriend’s pussy.

“Angel, no! Stop it, papi!”

She slapped his hand but I could tell she was just as aroused as he was. I could sense that all he had to do was push a little harder and he’d soon get what he wanted.

Pulse racing, my small cock now fully erect, I ground into the sand to readjust myself and continued watching them.

Angel succeeded in pulling the material of her bathing suit to one side and exposed her shaved pussy. I gulped and felt my Adam’s apple bobbing up and down repeatedly. I felt suddenly and unexplicably thirsty.

“Papi, no. Please,” She sighed with a hiss then moaned as Angel inserted his fingers in her pussy. A small sound escaped my throat as if I could feel what he was doing to her. He cast a glance in my direction and I froze. After a moment, satisfied they weren’t being watched, Angel turned his attention back to the girl laying on her side before him.

She parted her lips and threw her head back, eyes closed. Angel chuckled. There was something lewd, sexy and seductive about it.

I watched him wriggle his fingers inside her, pumping them in and out a few times before pulling out completely and sucking on them. Then he shoved them in her mouth and brought them back down between her legs. He continued finger-fucking her.

“You’re so fucking wet!” Angel whispered into the wind.

“Ah! An– Angel. You’re such a pig!” Although she complained she did nothing to stop him. “Don’t you ever get enough?”

In response, Angel pulled his fingers out of her pussy then reached for the waistband of his black Speedos. He whipped out a large, fat uncut cock that looked very wet. My eyes bugged out at the sight of him casually stroking the thick, meaty shaft out in the open.

I briefly wondered if any of the old buggers on the benches could see and suddenly realized why they had those binoculars. For unexpected moments like this.

Mira, mami,” Angel said. She glanced down at his cock and chewed her lower lip. “See what you do to me?”

Then he pulled the foreskin back, exposing the head. He looked even wetter as he rubbed the tip up and down her fleshy folds. She moaned. Then, slowly, Angel slipped his cock inside her, filling her completely, one glorious inch at a time.

Angel had stopped glancing around to see if anyone might be looking. Instead, he worked the entire length of his cock inside the woman’s pussy and they started to kiss.

“We shouldn’t be doing this,” she whispered.

“Shhh! It’s okay, baby. No one’s looking. Besides, there’s only a few people nearby.”


“What about that girl?”

I blushed at the thought she might be talking about me.

“That girl. Down there.” She raised her leg slightly and pointed towards me with her toes. I remained perfectly still, hair in my face. I still closed my eyes, just in case, and was grateful I’d rolled over onto my stomach when I did. I might have a small dick but an erection is an erection and I’d have given myself away. Not to mention that I probably wouldn’t be able to see what was happening as well as I was now.

“Honey, she’s sunning herself topless. You think she’s gonna care if we’re fucking out in the open?”

Seconds later I heard slurping noises. I dared to open my eyes and looked up to see them kissing. Their hips gently rocked to and fro, barely perceptible, but just enough to cause enough friction to make them sigh and gasp.

Unable to believe what was happening before me, my cock was drooling copiously. I could feel it oozing pre-cum as if it were a small faucet with a leak.

I angled my body, trying to get a better view as he placed a hand on the small of her back and pulled her closer to him.

Soon, she was moving back and forth, more quickly than he was. I could see a bit more of the underside of his shaft; it looked slick and wet from sweat and pussy juice.

My heart was pumping in my head and my dick was throbbing as I continued to watch. I longed to crawl on my hands and knees between their legs and lick them both but I fought the urge.

A bit more brazen now that he was lost in the excitement, Angel rolled the girl over, moving with her without pulling out. Now on her back, she spread her legs slightly and placed her hands near his ass.

Discretely, he thrust in and out of her. His moves would’ve been easy to miss if you weren’t looking for them. But I could tell. His ass cheeks dimpled as he ground into her; I could see the hollows even through his bathing suit.

As I watched them fuck, I pressed my own erection into the sand, moving my hips from side to side. I was close.

The girl suddenly gave a single, soft moan and her entire body shuddered. Seconds later, Angel sighed and I followed with a load of my own.

My heart was in my throat and, although I’d just cum, I was now hornier than ever. My pulse raced and hormones raged. What with having just watched the couple before me, the heat of the sun, and the sound of the surf, I could barely control myself. In that moment I understood how someone might become so frantic with desire they’d pounce on the first person they saw without thought or regard to consequence.

Fuck first, ask questions later. That pretty much summed up what I was feeling.

At that moment, even though I didn’t like girls, I’d have gladly eaten her pussy just to get a taste of him. Of course, I would have preferred to suck him and sample the juices from his foreskin but there was no chance of that happening no matter how much I wanted it.

Frustrated, I rolled over, sat up, and raced into the ocean water. It was warm but not so warm it wasn’t refreshing.

I imagined myself as a red hot poker, glowing brilliantly, while steam rose the moment I submerged myself. My breathing slowed and a moment later, I burst through the surface and bobbed in the water as my breathing went back to normal.

Good God! I’ve just got to get my hands on some dick! Please. I’m so fucking horny!

Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw movement. I glanced towards the beach and saw Angel stand. Even from that distance, I could see him reach inside the pouch of his suit and readjust himself.

He swaggered as he walked towards the ocean and, even though he was now soft, I could see the outline of his cock as he drew near. His balls looked to be huge, round and smooshed up against either side of the now soft piece of meat.

Obsessed with Angel, his cock, and the image of him fucking, I decided to leave the beach. I had to get off and masturbating alone wouldn’t do. I simply had to find cock! But where? How? It wasn’t the kind of thing they taught you in school. Then it hit me.

I know. I’ll go under the boardwalk.

With all those used condoms I kept finding I was bound to run into someone horny enough and didn’t care whether he got a blowjob from a boy or a girl. But would there be anybody there at this hour, cruising around and looking for trouble? I sure hoped so.

Frustrated and wet from the quick dip, I clambered out of the water, went back to my spot and packed up my stuff.